The Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA) in collaboration the Association of Towns in Rhineland Palatinate (GStB) in Germany with support from SKEW/Engagement Global have jointly embarked on the path to digitize all RALGA systems, starting from its archives, to ensure efficient internal information management and sustainability of records and documents keeping.

The process started with a planning workshop that kicked off at RALGA Offices in Kigali on Monday, 21st August 2023. The workshop is facilitated by Michael Kratz of HSH Global, a Germany private company specializing in software solutions with track-records working with central and decentralized entities in Germany and on the African continent.

Explaining the rationale of this project, the Secretary General of RALGA, NGENDAHIMANA Ladislas, said that the Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities was created twenty-one years ago, and since then it has kept its documents and records manually in physical places, with high risk of loss. 

“We have a big volume of documents and records accumulated over all the past years, stored in physical containers, which expose them to different risks such as fire, water penetration and any other eventual risks of damage that may prompt they destruction or total loss. It is important for RALGA to digitalize its archives but also ensures integrated paperless data management system as is the policy in Rwanda. It not only safeguards environment but also eases service delivery”, Ngendahimana Ladislas said.

“As RALGA, we need to adopt our operations to the government policies and ensure that we build capacities of our members. This project is being initiated as a pilot and if it succeeds, we can scale it up to districts as part of capacity building”, added the Secretary General.

The process to digitize RALGA archives started with a one week planning workshop from   21 August 2023, which provides a platform for RALGA staff to exchange ideas with experts to be able to build a system that responds to the real needs of the organization.

Speaking at the workshop, Mr Stefan Heck from the GStB in Germany said that, it is their pleasure to work with RALGA on this pilot project, which is part of the local governance exchange program component between the two Associations, under the support from the German Government.

“We are happy that RALGA has delivered on all indicators set in our joint project document in July 2018, starting from Rwanda Direct platform and now digitalization of archives at RALGA, with possibility of scaling it up to Districts”, he said.

The workshop is financially supported by SKEW/Engagement Global in Germany. The Secretary General of RALGA expressed gratitude and commended the German partners for consistency in the partnership and support, as is the case between the two countries.

The SKWE/Engagement team also visited the physical archives of RALGA to assess the volume of files which need to be digitalized.

Mr. Michael Kratz and Mr. Stefan Heck visiting the physical archives